Bone Broth and Vegetable Broth: Why is it so Good?

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Both bone broths and vegetable broths are simple to make and full of nutrients and flavor

Bone broth is a liquid brewed from the bones and connective tissue of chicken, lamb, grass-fed beef, or seafood. As the bones are boiled and cooked down, nutrients and minerals are drawn from the bone and the marrow that are beneficial for the joints, digestive system and the neurological system.

Can a good protein and collagen broth come from a plant-based broth, Vegan style? Absolutely, using only plant-based ingredients is also flavorful and may have a greater range of uses. Creating a vegetable-only broth can also be a good place to start if you are not open to working with bones. ORGANIC is key, fruits and vegetables bought at a grocery store that are not labeled organic are full of pesticides, and are picked early so they look the best when they arrive at the market several weeks later. This early picking decreases mother nature’s ability to produce the nutrients in the vegetables by decreasing the sunlight exposure. Pick up your favorite organic veggies from the farmers market or the local market. Including the skin is also important in items such as sweet potatoes where most of the nutrients are produced. Clean, chop and cook the whole vegetable. We found a great beginners’ recipe on Wallflower Kitchen to get you started. If you are preparing a true vegan broth, remember to add coconut or avocado oil for the omega fat ratio needed to help absorb the nutrients.

A third option is combining vegetables with the bones as well as spices such as turmeric and ginger. Spices complement and add individuality to our broth. Spices can also address certain dietary needs such as diabetes, allergies and more.

So, what are the benefits of a rich bone or vegetable broth:

Highly nutritious:

Rich in calcium and magnesium and phosphorous. Bone Marrow includes Iron, vitamins A & K, fatty acids, selenium and zinc. Brewing connective tissue provides the natural compound of collagen which in turn provides the body with amino acid building blocks of protein. Also, by combining a variety of bones from the same animal source, the broth will contain the best combination of nutrients possible. Bigger bones have more bone marrow. Smaller bones will have more ligaments and connective tissue. For a list of vegetables high in magnesium, iron and zinc, take a look at this list.

Protects the joints and can help slow down the effects of osteoarthritis:  

As we age, cartilage protecting the joints wears down and shrinks. This causes an increase in stress to the bone and joint space which can in turn lead to increased injuries over time. Collagen is a key source nutrient to the joints which is produced by gelatin found in bone broth. A study by the Nutrition Journal looks at the effects of type 2 collagen in people who have pain and stiffness due to osteoarthritis in their knees. The study showed that supplements of collagen from Chicken sternum cartilage did reduce pain and stiffness and improved physical function over a 6-month period.  Trace vitamins and minerals from citrus fruit, garlic, leafy greens and beans assist in the uptake of the amino acids needed for collagen absorption.

Improves Sleep:

The amino acid glycine is a safe therapeutic option for improving sleep. This little amino is many things; as a neurotransmitter, glycine both stimulates and inhibits cells in the brain. Affecting cognition, mood, immune function and sleep.  In particular, it helps the body make serotonin, a hormone that has significant effects on sleep and mood. Certain stressors at the wrong time of day can “amp” us up making it difficult to relax and shift into sleep and rest mode. Glycine is shown to support the production of GABA a neuroinhibitory hormone that can reduce your body’s stress response. Add to this meditation or restful music and immunity improves and sleep habits benefit.

Reduces Inflammation and heals the gut:

Individuals with conditions such as IBS and leaky gut syndrome tend to have low levels of amino acid. This can lead to irritated mucosal linins and interfere with the bodies ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. Bone broth provides amino acids such as glutamine and arginine. This nutrient plays a key role in maintaining the integrity of the intestinal barrier and may aid in healing the intestine injuries to the intestinal wall. Arginine can be found in spinach, chives, asparagus, mustard greens and a few more great vegetables that would support a good broth. Note, if you are prone to cold sores you may want to be careful with arginine sourced veggies.

Supports weight loss:

Supporting caloric restriction, bone broth full of protein helps make the body feel fuller for longer periods. Using the all-natural grass-fed bones you can get from the farmers market or local rancher provides optimum protein for soups, stews and other meals. You can use a nice chicken bone broth in rice, add veggies and your body will be in heaven. Low caloric, high protein and rich in vitamins and minerals. If you are looking to jump-start or address difficult stubborn weight, Dr. Kellyan Petrucci created a 21-day diet plan which combines a paleo diet, bone broth, and 2-day fasting periods. Please remember to consult your doctor if you have diabetes, kidney disease or you are pregnant before choosing to start this weight loss program.

Vegans would all agree there are plenty of protein sources without eating meat

The most important thing to remember is eating whole nutritious food. Some folks follow a diet of “no faces in my food”. Many times, these same people consume “cardboard food”; items that are prepackaged, genetically modified high in fats and salts. Taking time to make up a batch of vegetable broth would be a good way to help supplement the diet and maybe encourage creating healthy foods at home.

The best is homemade, even if you are not a cook, bone or vegetable broth is simple to make and has a variety of uses.

How about a nice spicey alcohol-free Bloody Mary drink, broths as the foundation for rice, noodle and soup dishes. With an Instapot or in a big pot on the stovetop, a flavorful broth is a wonderful way to support the immune system and create personalized recipes by adding your special spice mix to the blend.  

Knowing the benefits of this highly nutritious liquid and its support to the body is a plus to every chef’s pantry and freezer. Remember, after producing a batch of broth, store it in smaller portions and freeze for future use. One other tip, simmering the bones with a little vinegar helps release the nutrients from the marrow and adds flavor to your nutritious broth